My feeling is that Heathcote’s star has faded somewhat with the apparent decline in fashion of super ripe Australian shiraz. You might believe it too if you were to compare the somewhat rustic town of Heathcote with the more glammed up offerings in the Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula. But I can really only judge the region on its wines, and specifically on those that I have bought and tasted over the years, and here the region scores strongly in my book.
This wine from Munari in Heathcote is a case in point. Although the current vintage sells for $30 a bottle, the 2001 vintage can be found without looking particularly hard for around the $10 mark on the secondary market. Why that should be the case is not particularly evident based on my tasting of this wine. 2001 was an outstanding year in Heathcote, and this wine, despite its price, proved to be close to outstanding.
|Munari Schoolhouse Red 2001 Heathcote|
Sourced from grapes in the Bendigo, Heathcote and Broadford region, it is a blend of 83% shiraz and 17% cabernet sauvignon. It is still somewhere between a medium to pronounced intensity expression of purple and ruby in colour. The last fifth of the bottle had a somewhat soupy appearance in the glass, and so I very much recommend decanting (as did the winemaker’s note). The aroma is stunning – plums, herbs and some eucalyptus. Not enormously complex perhaps, but it certainly is alluring and commands interest. The palate is full bodied and reveals unexpectedly (for its price) very long length, with the depth of plummy shiraz flavours quite pronounced. This wine is in its drinking prime, and represents remarkable value if you come across it. 93 points (extremely good)
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Tasted: August 2012